Having a loved one far away is something that almost all military families face at some point in their service. The challenges of staying connected can really make the time seem longer, but the following tips can help. With a little planning, and a lot of flexibility, the time apart can be made a little more bearable.
1. Try different ways to connect.
It’s easy to fall into a rut with how you communicate. A quick email or a phone call is always nice, but don’t rule out other methods for staying in touch. Cell phones programs like Facetime and video calls from Skype are a great way to get some time with your loved one, and seeing their face is an added bonus. Old-fashioned letter writing is also a great way to switch things up. Letters make special personal keepsakes to hold on to and share with family.
With a little planning, you can capture some videos to help you get through times when your loved one might not be able to stay in touch as much as you would like. This is a great option for keeping kids in touch with deployed parents. A simple recording of a bedtime story can become a great way to include a deployed parent in a bedtime routine.
3. Share and be patient.
This is good advice for life in general, but especially relevant when dealing with long distance connections. Make sure you share good news, great pictures, and fun videos with your loved one- they will appreciate being included on the day-to-day events they can’t be there for. And remember to be patient when it gets a little quiet. Heavy workloads, poor internet connections, and a host of other things can keep your loved one from contacting you. A little patience will go a long way for you and your sanity.
In all reality, there isn’t much that can make the distance of a deployment any better, but keeping lines of communication open in as many ways as possible can help the time pass a little less slowly. What makes deployment any easier in your family? Share your ideas in the comment section below.